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7 Ways to Minimize Your Risk of a Cryptogenic Stroke - Oren Zarif - Cryptogenic Stroke

While the exact cause of a cryptogenic stroke is unknown, there are some important things you can do to minimize your risk of developing one. To prevent stroke, start by following your physician's advice, and undergoing regular heart monitoring. In addition to these steps, you should live a healthy lifestyle. Here are seven ways to minimize your risk of cryptogenic stroke:

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One of the biggest obstacles to preventing another stroke is finding out what exactly caused it. In most cases, a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, but one in four survivors will experience another one in their lifetime. This is why it is important to find the cause and get the appropriate diagnostic workup. Knowing the causes of strokes can help to reduce the risk of a repeat attack. To learn more about stroke risk factors, please visit our website.

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The Scripps Cryptogenic Stroke Program is located on the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus, which also contains the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute and the Scripps Clinic John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion. The Scripps Cardiovascular Institute is the largest heart care facility on the West Coast. It has a high sensitivity and detects thrombi in the LV. If you suspect that you have cryptogenic stroke, don't delay treatment.

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A PFO is another major contributor to cryptogenic stroke. It can occlude the middle cerebral artery stem or reach the aortic root. The PFO occurs in nearly thirty million people in the United States. Closure of this hole can reduce the risk of recurrence. Another contributing factor to cryptogenic stroke is A-Fib, a type of irregular heart rhythm that may lead to blood clots. In both cases, patients can receive medication or an implantable device to prevent stroke.

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Cardiovascular systems can misclassify patients. Some young patients with a PFO have been classified as cardioembolic despite atypical vascular risk factors. A cryptogenic stroke is often misdiagnosed as a noncardioembolic clot and requires an investigation to determine the true cause. Anticoagulation, however, should be avoided in such cases unless alternative therapies are available. In select patients with paradoxical embolization through the PFO, percutaneous closure is a beneficial option.

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The presence of a PFO is a significant risk factor for stroke, but establishing a causal link is difficult. The majority of cryptogenic stroke patients have an incidental PFO, which may have contributed to the stroke. Closing these PFOs may expose patients to procedural risks, but leaves unanswered the cause of the cryptogenic stroke. Additionally, the risk of cryptogenic stroke is higher in patients who are younger, have no clinical risk factors, and have a cortical infarct, suggesting an embolic mechanism for the complication.

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Although there is no definitive cause for atrial fibrillation (AF), atrial fibrillation increases a person's risk of ischemic stroke by five times. This condition can develop without symptoms, so people may have no idea they have it. Thankfully, heart monitoring is available to diagnose the underlying cause of the stroke. Once the cause is determined, treatment may be aimed at improving symptoms and preventing future occurrences.

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Anticoagulation for cryptogenic stroke is not a standard treatment for this disorder. Although the use of anticoagulation has not been proven effective, the standard of care for cryptogenic stroke is still aspirin, a low-dose clopidogrel, and an implantable cardiac monitor. If atrial fibrillation is detected, anticoagulation may be prescribed. However, there are no studies comparing anticoagulation with aspirin in patients with cryptogenic stroke.

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Genetic abnormalities are uncommon causes of ischemic stroke, and the frequency of CS remains relatively low. Early identification of such patients could potentially have beneficial effects on counseling and management of CS. While there is no universal genetic cause of cryptogenic stroke, the likelihood of developing a cryptogenic stroke is greater in younger patients, those with a positive family history, and those with no conventional risk factors. Genetic testing may also increase the yield of ischemic stroke, and can be used to detect the underlying cause.

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